What Your Insurance Policy Will and Won’t Cover This Halloween
As Halloween approaches, business owners in the Northeast may have more to worry about than just the many skeletons, clowns, and vampires wandering the streets.
According to Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), “November 1st is a busy day for insurance adjusters given that more vandalism claims are filed on Halloween than any other day of the year.”
This worrisome statistic comes as no surprise to our licensed public adjusters as they have aided many policyholders with property claims for damage that were likely caused by Halloween revelers.
Businesses should begin preparing their property in advance taking into account the possibility for vandalism. We spoke to five property insurance experts from Globe Midwest/Adjusters International, Adjusters International/Basloe, Levin & Cuccaro and Jansen/Adjusters International to find out what types of ghoulish claims likely will and won’t be covered under standard commercial insurance policies:
Vandalism – “Broken windows, signs and other types of physical property damage to a business’ building and grounds will usually be covered,” said Carl Gross, Vice President and CAO of Globe Midwest/Adjusters International. “Any electrical repair work, fires or lost business income due to an electrical system failure resulting from the damage will be covered.”
Fires – “Repairs for destruction from fire claims caused by vandalized decorations, tipped candles and smashed pumpkins will be covered under a standard insurance policy. Furthermore, if a resulting fire were to cause a power outage, then the Business Income claim for revenues lost during the shut-down would be covered as well,” said Stephen Surace, Vice President and CFO at Adjusters International.
Theft – “Stolen decorations and signage will ordinarily be covered by a business’ property insurance since theft is normally a basic covered loss. The more applicable question would be whether the value of the items merits an insurance claim based on the business’ deductible under its purchased policy. Usually, it would not unless a business has a very elaborate & expensive display,” said Steven Vanuga, Regional Vice President of Adjusters International/Basloe, Levin & Cuccaro.
Snow – “If a winter storm occurs on or before Halloween and causes roof damage or collapse, or even a period where the business must temporarily close, then this would be covered just as it would any other time throughout the winter,” said Surace.
Injury – “Standard insurance policies will not pay for injuries that were sustained on your land by trick-or-treaters as a result of any broken glass, fires or icy sidewalks with Halloween being no exception.” said David Moore, Chief Operating Officer at Jansen/Adjusters International. “These injuries may be covered by the commercial liability policy of the business owner if that coverage is in place."